Turkish Historical Society

Turkish Historical Society
Türk Tarih Kurumu Logosu.jpg
Founder(s)Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 22
EstablishedApril 12, 1931; 91 years ago (1931-04-12)
PresidentAhmet Yaramış

The Turkish Historical Society (Turkish: Türk Tarih Kurumu, TTK) is a research society studying the history of Turkey and the Turkish people, founded in 1931 by the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.[1] It has been described as "the Kemalist official producer of nationalist historical narratives".[2] Turkish sociologist Fatma Müge Göçek states that the TTK "failed to carry out independent research of Turkish history, remaining instead the voice of the official ideology".[3]


In 1930 the Committee for the study of Turkish History (Türk Tarihi Tetkik Heyeti) was established with the support of the Turkish Hearths.[4] In 1931 the Association for the Study of Turkish History (Türk Tarihi Tetkik Cemiyeti) was founded, which in 1935 was renamed in Turkish Historical Society.[5] in 1940, the Turkish Historical Society arose to an association working for the public interest.[4] On 11 August 1983, it was elevated to a by the constitution protected institution under the Atatürk High Institution of Culture, Language and History (Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu, AKDTYK).[4]

According to Turkish historian Doğan Gürpınar, by the 2000s the THA's "main function became the production and reproduction of the official line to counter Armenian allegations, in addition to publishing numerous monographs on Turkish history following a Rankean-cum-statist methodology and perspective."[6]


In 1930 the book Türk Tarihinin Ana Hatları (The Mainlines of Turkish History) which emphasized the ability of Turks was published under the auspices of the Committee for the study of Turkish History[5] This book, printed only 100 times, formed the basis for the Turkish History Thesis, which posited that Turks emigrated in several waves to China, India, Northern Africa and Europa to populate the areas and bringing the native people there civilization.[7] In 1932 it released a four-volume history text for all secondary schools in Turkey upon request of the Ministry of Education. The text claimed that the ancient Turks have already had the ideas of nationality and the Turkish race.[8]

The institute releases a regular bulletin called Belleten.[1]


The institution's first president was Tevfik Bıyıklıoğlu.[9]

In July 2008 its president Yusuf Halaçoğlu was dismissed.[10] It was speculated that the decision reflected the government's desire for rapprochement with Armenia.[citation needed] Shortly before the decision, foreign minister Ali Babacan greeted Armen Martirosyan, Armenia's ambassador to the United Nations, in a reception related to Turkey's temporary accession the UN Security Council.[11] Before that, president Serzh Sargsyan had invited his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül, to a World Cup qualifying game between the two countries' national soccer teams.[12]

In 2009, the president of the organization falsely claimed:

The research Yusuf Halaçoğlu conducted at the Ottoman, UN, US, German, French, British, and Russian archives has revealed that the Armenians murdered 532,000 Muslims whereas the number of Armenians who died during the deportations was around 47,000. Of these, 37,000 perished due to hunger, illness, and the strain of travel; 8,000 were killed by Arab, Kurdish, and Turkish bandits on the deportation routes, and 1,500 were unregistered deaths. In addition, 67 state officials were tried and executed for failing to protect the deported Armenians.[13]

Göçek notes that Halaçoğlu does not speak all the languages in the archives that he purportedly consulted and many of the claims he made are not just false but actually impossible.[14]

Presidents by the following years

Prof. Dr. Refik TURAN Current the Chairman of Turkish Historical Society
  • Tevfik Bıyıklıoğlu (1931-1932)
  • Prof. Dr. Yusuf Akçura (1932-1935)
  • Hasan Cemil Çambel (1935-1941)
  • Ord. Prof. Dr. Şemsettin Günaltay (1941-1961)
  • Ord. Prof. Dr. Şevket Aziz Kansu (1962-1973)
  • Ord. Prof. Dr. Enver Ziya Karal (1973-1982)
  • Ord. Prof. Dr. Sedat Alp (1982-1983)
  • Prof. Dr. Yaşar Yücel (1983-1992)
  • Prof. Dr. Neşet Çağatay (deputy) (1992-1993)
  • Prof. Dr. İbrahim Agah Çubukçu (deputy) (1993)
  • Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halaçoğlu (1993-2008)
  • Prof. Dr. Ali Birinci (2008-2011)
  • Prof. Dr. Bahaeddin Yediyıldız (deputy) (2011-2012)
  • Prof. Dr. Mehmet Metin Hülagü (2012-2014)
  • Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ali Beyhan (deputy) (2014-2015)
  • Prof. Dr. Refik Turan (2015-2020)
  • Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yaramış (2020-present)

See also


  1. ^ a b "Short History of the Turkish Historical Society". Turkish Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  2. ^ Galip, Özlem Belçim (2020). New Social Movements and the Armenian Question in Turkey: Civil Society vs. the State. Springer International Publishing. p. 153. ISBN 978-3-030-59400-8.
  3. ^ Göçek 2015, p. 293.
  4. ^ a b c Bayir, Derya (2016-04-22). Minorities and Nationalism in Turkish Law. Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-317-09580-4.
  5. ^ a b Uzer, Umut (2016). An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism. The University of Utah Press. p. 102. ISBN 9781607814658.
  6. ^ Gürpinar, Doğan (2013). "Historical Revisionism vs. Conspiracy Theories: Transformations of Turkish Historical Scholarship and Conspiracy Theories as a Constitutive Element in Transforming Turkish Nationalism". Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies. 15 (4): 412–433. doi:10.1080/19448953.2013.844588. S2CID 145016215.
  7. ^ White, Jenny (2014). Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks: Updated Edition. Princeton University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0691161921.
  8. ^ Landau, Jacob M. (1981). Pan-Turkism in Turkey. London: C. Hurst & Company. p. 76. ISBN 0905838572.
  9. ^ "Presidents" (in Turkish). Turkish Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  10. ^ Özerkan, Fulya (2008-07-24). "Controversial historian dismissed from office". Turkish Daily News. Retrieved 2008-07-25.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Demirci, Mehmet (2008-07-24). "Armenian envoy attends Turkish reception at UN". Zaman. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  12. ^ Tait, Robert (2008-09-04). "Old foes Armenia and Turkey put faith in football diplomacy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  13. ^ Göçek 2015, pp. 459–460.
  14. ^ Göçek 2015, p. 460. "First, one should note that Halaçoğlu does not know any foreign languages, so it would be impossible for him to personally conduct research in the UN, US, German, French, British, and Russian archives; he probably relied on information gathered by others. Second, given that the Armenian population at the end of the Ottoman Empire was around 1.5 to 2 million, and given that a typical Ottoman household of the period comprised five members, including the women, children, and the elderly, the figure Halaçoğlu cites would imply that one in every three Armenians murdered Muslims, which is not only improbable but actually impossible. Third, in terms of the Armenian deaths, given that about 300,000 Armenians survived the massacres, and given that there were initially 1.5 million Armenians in the empire, it is difficult to account for what happened to the rest. Fourth, even though the CUP government tried some of the perpetrators, it did so not to punish them for the crimes they committed but instead for keeping the plundered Armenian wealth for their personal use. Halaçoğlu engages in such falsification for the denial of responsibility."

Further reading

  • Göçek, Fatma Müge (2015). Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence Against the Armenians, 1789–2009. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-933420-9.

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